Commissioner of Police Discusses Legal Limits of Parental Corporal Punishment

Commissioner of Police Discusses Legal Limits of Parental Corporal Punishment

Are parents able to physically discipline their children, and if so, to what extent? That’s what we asked the Commissioner of Police, Chester Williams. The question arose amid the outrage sparked by viral videos of convict Devain Flores hitting his 3-year-old step-child. Williams was asked to weigh in on what levels of corporal punishment are illegally acceptable.

Chester Williams, Commissioner of Police: “The Criminal Code at section 36 spoke to – no section 32 spoke to the whole issue of chastising a child which means that a parent do have the right to chastise a child. But chastise must only go to a certain extent. Even when you look at the whole concept of discipline, a person must do something in order for them to be disciplined. And when you have a situation, as you’ve seen that video where the child is so compliant, the child submits himself. How could you speak about discipline? You know, it’s not there. So certainly, yes to answer your question a parent can still chastise a child so long as the parent do not overdo. Chastising does not mean to leave marks on a child, to cause a child wound or bodily harm. It must only be perhaps a spank or a lashing and something that is going to be warrant whatever the child may have done. So we have to be very careful in terms of how it is done so it doesn’t seem as if the child is being abused as opposed to being chastized.”

Williams appeared on The Morning Show on Monday.

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